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And then there was one........

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  • And then there was one........

    Having succeeded at getting all 14 Maine 4000 footers over a week's vacation three weeks ago, made the possibility of finishing the 115 this year a reality, so this weekend it was back to New Hampshire with my buddy Len. Len was my hiking partner for our fantastic Maine trip, so I knew he was up for whatever the weekend might bring. A few years back I had wanted to stay at the Kinsman Lodge on 116, the other side of the Kinsman's from Franconia, but they were full and I stayed up the road at a much more "rustic" farm lodge. Let me just say, I am SO happy to have had a second chance to stay there! Sue, the host, is just one of the nicest people I've met in my lodge, motel, hotel and B & B experience! Getting a late start to have the fortifying breakfast on Saturday meant we would be coming out with headlamps from Waumbek, but it was so worth it. We were an hour and 20 minutes drive from the Cabot TH, because it is full on leaf-peeping and fall hiking season up there right now and there are many "no vacancy" signs shining bright. There was a cancellation at Moose Brook Lodge in Gorham, but I was glad we stuck with Kinsman Lodge. We didn't get up there till 1015 PM, having worked Friday and enjoyed a couple of the fine Vermont beers we picked up in Rutland, before hitting the sack. Got to the Cabot TH around 9 on the grounds of the Berlin Fish hatchery and there were at least 8 cars there already. Lots of people grabbing some more 48ers before the snow flies! The trail is very wet, which I guess is a good thing, since they need plenty of water to raise all those fish, down from the mountain! We did meet two gentlemen in their 70s on the trail, one halfway through a "round after 75"! Impressive! I always enjoy seeing things that I've seen others post photos of in their reports, so it was comforting to come upon the Cabot cabin, where you can camp. The summit is a short ways past that and there is a little viewpoint facing east and we thought we picked out Old Speck, our Maine finisher from three weeks ago. I had watched a video on youtube which claimed the summit was actually past the summit sign and if you look closely at the sign, you can see someone scratched an arrow into it in that direction, so we made sure to grab that little protruberance as well. We made our way down as quickly as possible, though the rocks and wet, made it a little tougher. On to Starr King Road to grab Waumbek. Many out here as well and we saw three other people who were out on Cabot that AM, so we weren't the only ones who had the idea to grab both. The warmer temps and sun made it very do-able. Getting up to Starr King the views of the Presidentials were phenomenal and if you go past the summit of Waumbek there is another wonderful viewpoint as well. Night was rapidly falling, along with temps, and we layered up and had the headlamps on to make our way out. I'll admit it did feel a little like work at times, trudging along in the dark....but that breakfast! Getting dinner was another issue as Salt in Gorham was no longer seating people as they had a line out the door and Horse and Hound in Franconia was only seating lodge guests, so it was a long drive to Lincoln for Common Man. While I want to see moose, I am very thankful to not see them on some of these night time drives up there! We collapsed into our rooms at 11 PM and slumbered till 6. Up early on Sunday to pack up and we had hoped that the weather forecast was wrong, as it started out partly sunny and cold, but that was not to be. We had decided to take the shortest route to Cannon on the Kinsman Ridge Trail from the parking area next to the Cannon Tram. It's 2.2 miles to the top and you start going up right out of the gate to get the 2100 feet of elevation. Ice is starting to form in many places, but not completely covering rock faces, but that will change if there is any rain, so it's time to start thinking about having spikes in the pack. We were in the clouds at around 3500 feet of elevation, so there were no views from the top, but that did not discourage many tourists from taking the tram up. We celebrated with a well-earned beer at the top and made our way down. Many more were coming up with later starts, certainly do-able with the short hike. A couple of people in shorts! Brrr...... Coming down, the reality of having only Moosilauke left started to set in and was a really good feeling. Showed Len the Profile Lake Memorial Park to the Old Man, which I had enjoyed two years ago with my wife Jean and then it was back in the car to get home. It's nice to get home when it is still daylight. Moosilauke, we have a date either this weekend or the weekend after, so don't go anywhere! 47/48. 66/67. 114/115
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    Last edited by gebby; 10-08-2019, 06:29 AM.

  • #2
    Cool, I finished my 115 and NH48 on the Moose a bunch of years ago, it is a great peak to finish on as there are mulitple routes and approaches to the solitary summit (to allow for a big crowd at the summit AND still be legal within the group size).. and it's just a nice peak with nice views on a good day..

    Enjoy and congrats in advance!


    Life is a short, warm moment
    And death is a long cold rest.
    You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
    Eighty years, with luck, or even less.
    -Pink Floyd


    • gebby
      gebby commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Jay! Looking for a moderate approach, so my wife can accompany me. We're staying at the Dartmouth Lodge. Cuts out about 500 feet of elevation gain, which I know she will appreciate!

  • #3
    Yeah, Jay, I remember that trip way-back-when. You were just a kid.

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